Christopher Creek is surrounded by great hiking trails. You are familiar with the Highline trail system, which stretches from the 260 Trailhead all the way to Pine. About a mile east past Colcord Road and the state yard is the parking lot at the east end of the Highline. From 260 Trailhead to Christopher Creek is the first leg of the trail. Were you to go to the See Canyon trailhead at the end of FR 284 across from Tall Pines Market, there are three choices. Going east will take you about five miles or so on the Highline again to the 260.
North from the end of FR 284 will take you on the See Canyon trail up to the top of the Rim. A spur off that trail will take you to See Spring — and, no, the government is not going to plug the spring.
West from the See Canyon trailhead the Highline heads along the base of Promontory. This one intersects the Derrick Trail and comes out on the Tonto Hatchery Road above Kohl’s Ranch.
Twenty-five years ago the Creek had a hiking club. It was an informal group — members joined up bright and early on a Saturday morning to head out on an adventure. Ray and Jeannie MacDonald had a place in See Canyon homes back then and they would bring Bear, their beagle, and son Ross a time or two. Sam and Bob Conklin, also from See Canyon, were regular hikers. Jan Thompson and daughter, Jill, would come up from the Valley. Larry and Patty Boeschling rounded out our group. A year or two later they took over as managers out at the OW Ranch.
There were times when we would entice other weekend visitors to join us. When required, our friend, Candy, would shuttle some of us in her VW microbus to where we were to start and then would come to pick us up on the other end. She was not a hiker.
On one such adventure, we were hiking from Haigler Creek to Bear Flat on the old mail trail. Midway the trail came to a livestock tank. Circling that pond, our intrepid leader picks out a path that headed off in the right direction. Fifteen minutes later that path petered out to a game trail, which disappeared in the manzanita.
The group voiced various disparaging remarks directed at their guide about being lost. He reasoned that, no, we were not lost because the Rim was still to the north, Four Peaks was south and we hadn’t crossed either Canyon Creek or Tonto Creek. We were not lost!
We headed south, picking our way through the brush, when our leader found a turkey feather. He said that was an omen. Sure enough, in another 30 yards we were back on the right trail. That turkey feather remains in my collection to this day.
Getting out in the woods this time might well yield a find. Tim, Lisa and their daughter were out last Saturday. Lisa was lucky to find not one, but two six-point, right-side elk antler sheds! One she found while answering a call of nature!
Jay found his shed last week on the ridge across from my house, not 300 yards from my front door.
We continue to hear stories of monster German browns in the area creeks.
Mel Milhon is out of the hospital and continues to improve.
Good to see longtime resident, Bob Lusson, out of the care center and just in time to get in some time down at Roosevelt Lake with his family.
A friend stopped by and asked if we could acknowledge the passing of his dog. Why not? R.I.P. KC
A third of last week’s article was left out. It was my bad. What follows was more timely a week ago.
Last Saturday a delegation of nearly 20 Creekers descended on Tonto Village for the 34th anniversary of Danny and Ethel’s tenure at the Double D. Landon performed throughout the afternoon for the large crowd and we were happy to see some folks we haven’t seen for some time.
Ethel Cain took to the stage for a brief speech explaining that she doesn’t do public speaking. From my vantage point in the barber chair, it appeared that all had a great time.
If you haven’t got your chili fixin’s, you best get crackin’. Saturday, May 7 is the date of the Cinco de Mayo Chili Cook-off and Kentucky Derby Party. This event has grown to be a huge draw and we’re lookin’ to set a new record for entries.
Karen Thornton at 928-478-4133 has all the answers should you have any questions, and remember the Kentucky Derby hat contest. It all starts at 1 p.m. at the Landmark.
This week on May 3 at 3:17 p.m. was the anniversary of the great Sonoran earthquake of 1887. It was estimated at 7.6 magnitude and caused much damage in southeast Arizona … and that’s another week in the Creek.